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Producer - Film, Radio, Television and Theatre

Producers coordinate the making of films, theatre productions, television shows and radio programs including everything from the initial concept to final production and distribution.

Also Known As

Film Producer, Motion Picture Producer, Radio Producer, Television Producer, Theatrical Producer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Film, Radio and Television Producers (5131.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations (F031) 
  • 2011 NOC: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (5131) 
  • 2016 NOC: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (5131) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Film, Radio and Television Producers

2006 NOC: 5131.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
INNOVATIVE

Interest in determining scope, treatment and scheduling of productions, and in adapting scripts and programs to reach specific audiences

DIRECTIVE

Interest in co-ordinating all elements of productions to ensure that quality is maintained; in controlling all stages of productions to ensure deadlines are met; and in approving productions before release; may direct productions

SOCIAL

Interest in negotiating with administrators, investors, contractors, directors and staff to develop business management policies and to finance productions; and in negotiating royalties

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated May 19, 2021

The typical hierarchy of film, television and theatre production is:

  • Executive Producers finance film projects, or create (and sometimes write) television shows. They may have the rights or options to an intellectual property, and hire a producer to execute the project. They are usually not involved in day-to-day set operations, other than items affecting the budget
  • Producers are the top of the reporting structure on set. They are responsible for managing the budget and logistics of the day-to-day operations of a production
  • Associate Producers are second in commend on set. For films, associate producers may be in charge of capturing certain non-actor segments of film, or handling the filming of segments in particular countries
  • Line Producers manage tasks related to specific areas (units) of production

No two projects are exactly the same but, in general, producers:

  • Execute an Executive Producer’s idea for a film, theatre production, radio program or television show
  • Obtain the rights to a script, if necessary
  • find financial backing for the venture
  • Hire key senior staff, including directors, writers and production crew
  • Oversee budgets, schedules and plans
  • Coordinate day-to-day production off and on the set or stage
  • See that all post-production work is completed
  • Negotiate with distributors and broadcasters
  • Promote the film, production or program

Producers usually work closely with directors and production managers to hire actors and production crew members. They negotiate salary and conditions of employment, and must be familiar with minimum wages and working conditions established by relevant unions and associations. Producers approve each department’s costs, from lighting equipment to travel budgets.

Distribution is an important concern for producers. Advance press materials are sent out before the show is completed or opens on stage. For film or television, often a short promotional version (trailer) or clip (teaser) is sent out for preview. Producers must then do follow-up calls and sometimes participate in promotional tours and media interviews.

Once a show is running or released, producers:

  • Wrap up all of the elements related to the project
  • Ensure that any investors are paid back from box office earnings
  • Distribute applicable residual payments to artists
  • Administer the business concerns of the project

Film producers may produce commercials, TV programs, industrial training films, promotional films, music videos or documentaries. They must be familiar with provincial and federal film and television grants and tax credit programs. Extensive research and paperwork may be required when writing proposals to bid on projects and win contracts.

Radio producers usually are assigned a specific show. For example, a producer may be in charge of a local morning show or an afternoon talk show. In general, they:

  • Determine program content (within station guidelines)
  • Supervise researchers, writers and production assistants
  • Ensure expenditures do not exceed a set budget

Radio producers also may work in the control room directing the music and information portions of the program.

Television producers are responsible for the conception, direction, production and completion of television programs within budget limitations. At larger operations, producers may specialize in news, entertainment or commercials. At smaller stations, they may assume responsibility for several programs. Producers may have some input into hiring on-air staff.

Theatrical producers coordinate the production of live plays and musicals. The producer’s office books venues for plays, sometimes in more than one city. Dinner theatres have theatrical producers who produce shows strictly as commercial properties.

Working Conditions
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Producers work long, irregular hours and often are present in the station or on set when the production is being shot. Large projects may take years to complete and may involve considerable travel.

Traits & Skills
Updated May 19, 2021

Producers working in radio, television, film or theatre need:

  • Creativity
  • Adaptability and perseverance
  • Good judgement for hiring key people
  • Passion for their work
  • An entrepreneurial spirit
  • A comprehensive network of industry talent
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Financial and time management skills
  • Leadership and communication skills
  • The ability to work with a wide variety of people
  • The ability to give and take constructive criticism
  • The ability to identify what makes a great story and know how to tell it effectively
  • The ability to deal with stress
  • A willingness to attend festivals, awards shows and industry workshops to network and form partnerships
  • A willingness to be held accountable for all decisions made

They should enjoy having variety in their work, finding innovative solutions to problems, coordinating productions and negotiating with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

Producers need a broad range of background knowledge and experience, including:

  • An understanding of what each person does in the creation of a project
  • A strong business background
  • An understanding of Canada’s tax system (to explain or leverage tax benefits)
  • An understanding of how to write an effective proposal and sell their idea to the right distributors
  • An awareness of the competitive television and film industry in Canada and how it varies from province to province
  • A good understanding of ever-changing technology
  • Knowledge of emerging specialty channels and networks and the types of programming these networks are seeking

For this reason, producers come from varied backgrounds.

  • Film producers may come from inside the film business. In larger centres such as Toronto and Vancouver, executive producers often are lawyers or business people. Some documentary film producers may have a political science or social justice background.
  • Radio producers generally begin as writers, broadcasters, researchers or assistant producers. They often have a university degree in journalism or liberal arts or a 2-year diploma in radio and television arts.
  • Television producers tend to come from within the organization and work their way up through junior production jobs. They may have a university degree in arts, commerce, management or law. Some have a 2-year diploma in radio and television arts.
  • Theatre producers may have experience in the theatre business or they may be business people who recognize a successful commercial venture.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

For information about related workshops and support groups, contact the following organizations:

Certification Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 19, 2021

Most radio producers are employed by radio broadcast companies.

Television producers often are hired on contract for specific shows. Larger television stations may have several producers on staff. It is possible to start as a news reporter or production assistant, or in entry level positions in sales or operations, and work your way up to a producer’s position.

Theatrical producers are usually hired by individual theatres, to produce long-running shows. There are very few theatrical producers in Canada and most of them work in large cities.

Some film and television companies produce films and television series in Alberta. Producers may work on documentaries, training films, music videos and commercials as well as television programs and feature films. Amateur producers may choose to produce a small independent production on a tight budget and enter it in local and national film festivals as a way to build experience and a reputation in the field.

Producers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations. In Alberta, 89% of people employed in this classification work in the Information, Culture and Recreation [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Information, Culture and Recreation industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated May 19, 2021

Incomes for freelance producers vary considerably from one producer to another, and from one year to another. For film and television, some producers may be able to also negotiate a share of the net profits, as well as residuals from video sales or TV reruns.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

2016 NOC: 5131
Average Wage
$39.29
Per Hour
Average Salary
$78,713.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5131 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.44 $37.96 $31.41 $32.00
Overall $20.89 $46.61 $39.29 $43.14
Top $26.84 $50.35 $42.21 $44.77

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
36%
36%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
15%
15%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
0%
0%
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 19, 2021

Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) website: ampia.org

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) website: www.csif.org

Canadian Media Producers Association website: cmpa.ca

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) website: www.culturalhrc.ca

Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA) website: fava.ca

National Film Board of Canada website: www.nfb.ca

National Screen Institute - Canada (NSI) website: nsi-canada.ca

Women in Film and Television Alberta (WIFTA) website: www.wifta.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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